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Botanicalls gives a voice to our voiceless everyday companions: house plants. Moisture sensors in a plant's soil trigger messages that are sent to a human caretaker over a wireless network, opening up a playful yet useful line of communication about the plant’s needs. The messages are broadcast via Twitter or read aloud by a recorded human voice over the telephone; the plants are polite enough to send both distress calls and notes of thanks. Botanicalls enables just one form of interspecies communication, but its fresh use of sensor technology has a wide range of potential applications.

Gallery label from Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects, July 24–November 7, 2011
Electronics, printed circuit board, stainless steel, and Arduino software
10 x 2 x 1 1/2" (25.4 x 5.1 x 3.8 cm)
Gift of the designers
Object number
Architecture and Design